Dior Cruise Show provides a showcase for Spanish craftsmanship

SEVILLE, Spain For Maria Grazia Chiuri, DiorThe annual cruise show is a unique opportunity to bring together specialist workshops from its chosen destination to work on objects that showcase unique and potentially endangered craftsmanship.

In Seville, where the artistic director of women’s ready-to-wear will present her resort collection on Thursday evening, she was spoiled for choice, ranging from Andalusian leather craftsmen who are experts in riding equipment, to metalworking and embroidery workshops usually specialized in religious ceremonial objects. .

It all makes for a shared moment that she described as unlike any other show on the fashion calendar.

“Fashion is a community enterprise. It’s like we’re celebrating all the work we’ve done together. The atmosphere on the cruise is very strong, because there are all the craftsmen who collaborate with us on the show,” she said during a preview on Wednesday.

“I feel so strongly the energy of all the artisans, of all the artists who have worked with me,” she added. “The level of involvement is completely different, especially with people who don’t have as many opportunities to show off their skills, talent and creativity.

Among those taking their first steps into high fashion is Orfebreria Ramos, a traditional metalwork shop that sells jewelry on its website but mainly specializes in the production of items such as crowns for statues. nuns and the restoration of church altars.

She has developed a line of jewelry for Dior on the theme of the rose, in homage to the founder Christian Dior, a great lover of the flower. “It’s the first time they’ve worked for a house. The owner was super happy because it can also give him a new vision of his work,” said Chiuri.

Likewise, the Jesús Rosado workshop, which only works with gold and silver threads, usually embroiders the fabrics used to dress the Madonnas during religious processions or worn for liturgical rites.

For Dior’s 2023 resort collection, he embellished the brand’s signature Bar jacket and Lady Dior handbag with three-dimensional embroidery inspired by bas-relief sculptures. Chiuri was so impressed that she wants to produce more plays.

“I want to come back because I would also like to continue the collaboration for haute couture pieces, because they have a really incredible manuality and also an artistic taste,” she enthused.

Then there are the objects traditionally associated with the women of Seville, a city famous for its flamenco dancing and Mudejar-style architecture, such as the Alcázar, where the French fashion house is planning to host a welcome dinner on Wednesday.

The historical Abanicos Carbonell workshop, based in Valencia, has created lace fans, while the María José Espinar workshop, where three generations of women work in the production of Manila shawls, has developed a series of traditionally fringed shawls. embroidered with signature Dior details.

From the equestrian wardrobe – and mood board images of Jackie Kennedy and the Duchess of Alba in traditional Spanish riding attire – the designer pulled two classic hat shapes produced by the Fernández y Roche workshop . One is felt and the other straw, like the special-edition wide-brimmed hat guests found in their rooms when they arrived in Seville.

Javier Menacho Guisado has applied his leather embroidery methods to the Dior Saddle bag, while Daniel López-Obrero Carmona has collaborated with Italian artist Pietro Ruffo, who regularly works with Chiuri on his collections, on unique pieces that combine sculpture and paint. techniques in the tradition of the city of Cordoba.

The Spanish craftsman’s work was used to decorate a series of bags, and he translated Ruffo’s designs for the show onto painted leather panels covering a chest intended to house Andalusian saddles and riding gear.

“It’s like a piece of leather couture, and it’s super exciting because we can create something really new and unique, and also because I think it can give us the opportunity, but also them , to improve our knowledge and use it in a different way,” said Chiuri.

While the trunk won’t be on display at the show, she plans to display several in store windows for the launch of the collection, which typically goes on sale during the holiday season.

Chiuri hopes this kind of visibility will act as a beacon for younger generations who might lack motivation to learn traditional skills.

“In Italy we have lost some of these traditions. Here there are a lot of them and they haven’t lost them, so if with this show they understand the potential of this kind of knowledge, it will probably make it more attractive for future generations, ”she said.

The show, which coincides with a record-breaking heat wave in southern Spain, is due to take place at 9 p.m. local time on Thursday in the sprawling Plaza de España. Built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, it mixes elements of the neo-baroque, neo-Renaissance, and neo-Moorish styles of Spanish architecture.

Shaped like a semicircle, the square is surrounded by buildings that are now mainly used by government institutions and is lined with tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. The buildings are accessed by four bridges over the moat, which represent the ancient kingdoms of Spain, with a large fountain located in the middle.

Overall, Dior is accelerating its physical showing schedule. The cruise show will be followed by the men’s ready-to-wear summer collection in Paris on June 24, and the haute couture fall collection on July 4.

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